St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

This course is a BTEC National Award, equivalent to A Level. BTEC Nationals are an exam free alternative to the more traditional A Level courses, taking a more practical approach to learning and assessment. They are ‘industry relevant’ qualifications geared to key sector requirements and are  designed as vocationally related qualifications to suit a range of learning styles. This course would be suited for students who have followed the OCR  ICT Level 2 in Years 10 and 11.

When students reach Level 3, they are offered a more in-depth look at ICT in the modern workplace and are given an insight into its role in specialist careers. This qualification provides ongoing learning and assessment of the practical skills and knowledge required to succeed in ICT-related careers  or further study.


This is a two year course and over that time you will complete 6 units of study. All units are internally assessed then externally moderated by the exam board (Edexcel). There are no external tests or exams, and ongoing assessments take place throughout the course. Whilst all individual units are  graded and certified, the full Certificate is issued at the completion of all units at the end of Year 13. The course is broken up as follows:

Year 12

Unit 1: Communication and employability skills in ICT
This unit provides an opportunity for learners to understand the range of such non-technical soft skills and to appreciate what other skills and knowledge they will need to develop in order to be an effective employee. Learners will have the opportunity to identify and consider their own set of skills and improve them where necessary.

Unit 2: Computer systems
Most IT practitioners will at some stage have to set up, use, customise and maintain a computer system or systems. In order to do so effectively they will  need to understand the components that make up a computer system. This unit develops skills in hardware components and the operating system.

Unit 3: Information systems
In order to understand and appreciate how organisations use information, it is necessary to appreciate how businesses operate and the functional areas in to which they can be divided. In addition, students will explore the formal ways that internal and external information flows can be represented  as well all as the constraints that impact the use of information in organisations such as data protection and other legislation.

Year 13

Unit 21 – Website production and management
This unit considers the whole process from identification of need, design, build, upload, test, maintain and review. Students will learn to select when and  where these skills are most appropriate, basing this decision on client and user needs. As with any field of IT, a comprehensive understanding of the relevant legislation and guidelines is always fundamental.

Unit 27 - Principles of Computer Networks
Students will explore the different types of networks and the standards relating to network systems. This will include local and wide area networks and will also cover both wired and wireless systems.

Unit 34 - E-Commerce
The unit starts by looking at the benefits and drawbacks for society of e-commerce and then investigates the technologies involved in e-commerce. This is followed by exploring the security issues surround the use of e-commerce, both from the business and the user perspective.

Progression Routes:

This course is ideally suited to be studied alongside courses such as Business Studies and other industry or vocational related courses. Please see the
College website for examples of Learning Programmes and go to for additional information. This qualification provides the skills required for a student to enter employment or go on to study other ICT or Computing-related courses at HND or Degree Level.

Back to course page